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thumper's rules

I don't remember much of Bambi. What has remained clear as crystal in my mind, however, is Thumper saying, "If you can't say nuffin nice, don't say nuffin at all." For some reason, that really stuck to me, even as a child, and I've believed it ever since. It's a surprisingly polarizing concept--I've had good friends who think it's ridiculous. What about constructive criticism? Or how being a good friend means telling a person what's real even when it isn't pretty? These are valid points, and I struggle with being genuine while also avoiding unnecessary unpleasantries. I tend to concede when someone is stubborn about being right. After one or two rounds of back and forth, I let it go because I don't like arguing over things that, in the end, don't impact my life. But when I give up even when I know I'm right, am I being polite or just cowed by someone's more forceful, increasingly antagonizing stance? Am I selling out myself? When should I refuse to back down?

It's something I haven't quite figured out, but I recognize that the heart of this issue is my wanting things not just to be pleasant but also positive. And with that in mind, I'm shifting gears slightly to hopefully bring a better spin to May, where I will constantly remind myself to be kind.

In its simplest form, I will manifest being kind by not saying anything negative--not about others and not about myself. There will be complaining to my husband about the idiot driver I encountered, or analyzing something someone did that hurt my feelings. There will be no hater comments about certain celebrities that rub me the wrong way (that one is going to be difficult). And there will be no "I feel like a Pillsbury-dough-boy" comments about myself. I am hoping, but not expecting, this to lead me to think kinder thoughts about people--to understand rather than condemn their behavior. Perhaps, in turn, it will lead to better insight about my original dilemma, and perhaps it won't. But if it brings even a little bit more positivity in me and the people around me, I'll say that's a month well done.

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